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A mountainous landscape


RCIN 912406

A drawing of a landscape in which mountains rise from a plain, grassy and wooded below, rocky and precipitous above. Through the plain on the right runs a river. Melzi's number 138.

This is a tightly controlled depiction of an imaginary mountainous landscape. The jagged spires of rock rising from rounded hills are seen in the right background of the cartoon for The Madonna and Child with St Anne and the Infant Baptist (London, National Gallery) to which this drawing is close in date, while the plain rising between the peaks to the right is reminiscent of the landscapes of Mona Lisa and the painted St Anne. The structure here is relatively simple, whereas in those late paintings the chains of mountains recede one after another until they are enveloped by the distant atmosphere. See also RCIN 912407, 912409.

Text adapted from Leonardo da Vinci: A life in drawing, London, 2018
  • stamp, ER VII, crowned, in oval: Lugt 901

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